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How To Build Your Entire Minimalist Wardrobe For Under $1700

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They say the clothes don’t make a man, and that’s true, but they definitely help. I’ve never known a guy who was successful with women who didn’t dress well. More importantly though, dressing well makes you feel good about yourself. Getting your wardrobe together is a crucial aspect of getting your life together.

The problem is most guys dress like shit, and your typical men’s style magazine doesn’t help. Most of their outfits cost as much as this guide and are way too avant garde for the average guy. You want to be about 80% towards the cutting edge of fashion, this means you have classic clothes and style that both men and women will respect.

Think Ryan Gosling, George Clooney or you can be a bit more aggressive and model someone like Jason Statham. With that said, you don’t need to spend a ton of money, with this wardrobe you will look better than 99% of guys because 99% of guys dress like shit, check it out:

Rules

  • Belt color matches shoe color
  • Sock color matches pant color
  • Dress pants cover socks when walking
  • With black dress pants wear black shoes only
  • All clothes should be slim fitting without being too tight
  • Always get your suit tailored, the fit is much more important than the brand

Notes

  • Tailoring is optional for dress shirts and dress pants depending on how they fit off the rack
  • Tailoring is optional on t-shirt sleeves to give them a form-fitting look
  • Outlet mall/Winners prices may vary slightly, may not always have clothes or styles in stock, and are not sold online
  • Underwear is not included because it’s uncomfortable and unnecessary

Outlet Mall/Winners

Slacks

  • Black/Charcoal Grey Kenneth Cole Reaction Slacks: $39.99 x 2

Dress Shirts

  • White Tommy Hilfiger Regular Fit Button Down Collar Shirts: $29.99 x 6

 

Socks

  • Pack Polo Mens Cotton Rib Dress Socks In Blue, Black and Charcoal: $9.99 x 3

Suit

  • Black Calvin Klein Suit: $299.99

GAP

Jeans

  • Resin Rinse Wash GAP Denim 1969 Original Fit Jeans: $69.95

V Neck T Shirts

Sweaters

 

  • Black GAP Cotton V Neck Sweater: $39.95
  • Charcoal Heather GAP Cotton V Neck Sweater: $39.95

Zara

Ties

  • Black Zara Wide Satin Tie: $35.90

Belts

  • Black/Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt: $35.90
  • Black Zara Casual Topstitched Belt: $35.90

Dress Shoes

  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Dress Shoes: $89.90
  • Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes: $99.90

Foot Locker

Casual Shoes

  • Converse Black All Star With White Trim Chuck Taylor High Tops: $54.99 

H&M

Blazers

  • Black H&M Blazer: $129
  • Grey H&M Blazer: $149

Banana Republic

Coat

  • Black Banana Republic Wool Blend Top Coat: $250.00

Total

  • $1687.92

Looks

Formal

  • Black Calvin Klein Suit
  • Black Zara Wide Satin Tie
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Black Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • White Tommy Hilfiger Regular Fit Spread Collar Shirt
  • Black Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Business Casual # 1

  • White Or Blue Tommy Hilfiger Button Down Collar Dress Shirt
  • Black Or Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Black Or Grey Kenneth Cole Reaction Slacks
  • Black Or Grey Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Or Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Business Casual # 2

  • Black Or Charcoal Heather Gap Cotton V Neck Sweater
  • White Or Blue Tommy Hilfiger Button Down Collar Dress Shirt
  • Black Or Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Black Or Grey Kenneth Cole Reaction Slacks
  • Black Or Grey Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Or Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Dress Casual # 1

  • H&M Black Or Grey Blazer
  • White Tommy Hilfiger Regular Fit Spread Collar Shirt
  • Black Or Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Gap Dark Denim 1969 Original Fit Rinse Resin Wash Jeans
  • Blue Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Or Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Dress Casual # 2

  • H&M Black Or Grey Blazer
  • White Or Black Gap Essential V Neck T Shirt
  • Black Or Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Gap Dark Denim 1969 Original Fit Rinse Resin Wash Jeans
  • Blue Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Or Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Dress Casual # 3

  • Black Or Charcoal Heather Gap Cotton V Neck Sweater
  • White Tommy Hilfiger Regular Fit Spread Collar Shirt
  • Black Or Brown Zara Reversible Dress Belt
  • Gap Dark Denim 1969 Original Fit Rinse Resin Wash Jeans
  • Blue Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Zara Smooth Leather Blucher Or Brown Zara Brushed Blucher Dress Shoes
  • Optional Banana Republic Black Wool Blend Top Coat

Casual

  • White Or Black Gap Essential V Neck T Shirt
  • Black Zara Casual Topstitched Belt
  • Gap Dark Denim 1969 Original Fit Rinse Resin Wash Jeans
  • Blue Polo Cotton Rib Mens Dress Socks
  • Black Converse All Star With White Trim Chuck Taylor High Tops


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31 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    December 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Not having a navy blazer…

  2. December 14, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I hear you, like anything on this site just discard what isn’t useful to you

  3. January 12, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    This is a valuable article. Thanks a lot.

  4. January 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks Mayedul,I appreciate it.

  5. Dawson
    February 3, 2015 at 2:03 am

    What do you think about Good looking loser’s take on style? That is, dressing ‘edgey’.

  6. February 3, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Edgy is good, I had a good run last summer in a wu tang tank top, stubble and a shaved head, my guide is meant to be versatile, pretty much everyguy can look good in the clothes outlined there. If you’re doing edgy or any style, just make sure to keep your budget in check, there is just no need to spend a ton of cash on clothes, GQ and all those men’s magazines are terrible sources of advice. For me the easiest way to get edgy is being muscular, a fitted t shirt (not too tight), well fitting jeans, stubble, and a shaved head.

  7. Vadim Fedorovsky
    February 27, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Will, how closely do you follow this excellent guide? I really love it but I think an improvement would be REAL pictures of some of the outfits on someone. Do you have any photographs of you wearing some of the outfits? I don’t mean that to be weird, just seeking real pictures of these outfits.

  8. February 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks Vadim. At the time I published the article it was my exact wardrobe like everything here its 100% personal experience and as time goes on I’m trying to keep it updated as I add to my collection. Unfortunately I don’t but you make a good point, that would be good addition to the post, will add to my task list.

  9. Dawson
    February 28, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    You don’t wear underwear….?

  10. March 1, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Nope

  11. Brian
    March 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Epic article, I’ve always needed something like this. One of your articles mentioned wearing boots, which boots do you prefer?

  12. March 17, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Thanks Brian. Right now I’m wearing Cole Haan brown leather boots I got on sale. But if you want to go with the top of the line, get red wings in brown leather.

  13. Cj
    July 15, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    I stumbled on your blog and stunned at the tips and info. Have a bunch of questions for you, hope you will respond. May post in on different articles as they come up.

    What are your thoughts on daily attire (as in going out to grocery store, trips to get a coffee,etc.) ? I’ll be honest, I was wearing a lot of athletic type gear. I was a fan of that style, but starting to have doubts that maybe its not appropriate for around the town. Not sure how it is viewed by females. Thoughts? late twenties here…

    I need the best clothes to wear on a daily basis in public not necessarily a night out on the town.

  14. July 16, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Thanks CJ, I really appreciate it.In your late twenties I’d definitely put the athletic gear away unless you’re going to the gym. Girls think its boyish. Day to day fitted jeans and a fitted t shirt to show off your physique with a pair of black low top converse is the ideal casual uniform. You can get the outfit with 7 t shirts for every day of the Week at H&M. Total including shoes, pair of jeans and ts is about $150. If you’re in shape you’ll look better than every guy you walk by. I wear this every day in thailand but with open laced boots, ripped jeans, bracelets and a pendant because I’m wearing the rockstar look out here. I look better than everyone in Chiang Mai, girls stare at me on the street. Hope that helps man.

  15. Alan
    July 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Another great article. Not a major issue but I’m interested in your take on men wearing shorts, ie; bermudas, cargos, etc. I confess to wearing them in the summer but lately I’ve started thinking its a bit on the fem side. Maybe I’m being too anal retentive.

  16. July 25, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Thanks issue. As a whole I’m not a fan of shorts at all. When it comes to the top niches in terms of attracting women you’ll never see those guys wear shorts. CEO’s, successful young professionals, rockstars – you won’t catch them wearing shorts. I remember an interview with James Gandolfini where he talks about consulting with real mobsters on the show. In one scene early on in the series Tony Soprano wore shorts at a barbecue. The mobster told him the Don never wears shorts. That was the last time his character wore shorts on the show.

    With that said if you don’t wear them you have to be prepared to be hot and get commented on it “aren’t you hot” etc. In Thailand where I live I have to wear shorts from time to time because it’s to damn hot but I try and avoid it. I don’t like the feel I get from wearing them, I feel too much like I too much like the average guy or some stupid tourist. The white guys here in Thailand look terrible, they either dress like filthy backpackers or slack jawed tourists, two looks I want to avoid.

    With said said if you’re rocking the prep look which it sounds like you are you can pull it off and have it look good. I would stick to well fitted dark khaki or dark blue shorts. Pair that with a nice brown leather belt and a fitted polo or for a more casual look a nice fitted t shirt. Don’t get the H&M style shorts though, they’re way too tight and short. The ones from GAP should sort you out nicely. They should come down to the knee, not to tight but also not baggy. I’m not a fan of cargos, they usually go too far past the knee and always look baggy. They also tend to flare out to widely and tend to give that frat boy look.

    Hope that helps, a very long answer to your question.

  17. Alan
    July 26, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for the response man. Long but informative. You brought up good points and connected some dots for me. You’re right. Alpha types dont normally wear shorts. It explains the age-old comment about wearing your “big boy” pants. Will, you rock.

  18. July 27, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Thanks Alan, that’s it exactly

  19. Jack
    October 14, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Great article Will! Could you recommend an alternative to the pea coat / top coat for a Canadian who needs to keep warm in the winter? Also I’m currently shopping for some brown leather boots, but there are a ton of different models (and they don’t all look cool). Can you point me in the right direction? Thanks

  20. snuck
    November 20, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Nice piece- I like simple, well-fitting, classic clothes, mostly. Versatile, and they aren’t going to go out of style in 6 months time.

    I’m interested in some comments I’ve seen in a few pieces about looking ‘edgy’.

    I have a shaved head, usually stubble (and a wu-tang shirt, lol). I’m an artist, I go for artsy, hipster-y, geeky-type of girls (maybe not everyone’s tastes; personally I love that shit, and IME those girls are waaay more fun in bed than high-heeled status-chasing types. And less head-fuck. But that’s me.) I’m mixed race, kinda dark skin, in a white country (Australia).

    My ‘uniform’ (no shit- every fucking day, unless I’ve got office work, or a formal do, or something) is chuck taylors, fitted, narrow black jeans, black (metal/garage band. or wu tang, lol) t-shirt, plain or flannel shirt, denim jacket. Maybe a baseball cap or woollen beanie.

    So I guess I’m kinda close to that ‘edgy’ look already, maybe? How should I accentuate this, and use it to my advantage? Some comments seemed to imply ‘edgy’ used a slightly different approach.

    thanx, and love your work.

    And yes; shorts are a bit like sweat-pants, imo; practical, but not real ‘grown-up’ or stylish. (says the guy with 6 flannel shirts…)

  21. November 21, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Thanks Snuck I really appreciate it.

    As for your look thats perfect for your niche, job and age – assuming you’re a young guy here. I’ve rolled with the same look last summer – shaved head, muscular, stubble wu-tang tank top – def worked for pulling younger girls. And try and get as fit as possible and where really tight ts on top. To do the rockstar look properly you really have to wear things a size smaller. I outfitted a friend here in thailand as a rockstar, he was 6’2, 135 lbs. and we had to get him an extra small in h&m to get the right look.

    As for accentuating it you can do fake ray bans or aviators. I think wrist cuffs are over but you can get black bead rockstar bracelets at h&M. Maybe a large silver crucifix depending on how far on the rockstar edge you’re going. You can try rolling your sleeves up high a la axl rose circa 1987

  22. Sonoran
    August 2, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Dont you feel like people will think you only have 1 pair of clothes for example?

    If you buy 6 white tommy dress shirts or 2 white v neck shirts, how can you legitemately pull this off without people thinking you wear the same thing every day?

  23. August 3, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Just buy in different colors if you’re worried.

  24. J
    October 17, 2016 at 10:34 am

    The article is dated 2012. I know your list is of clothes that aren’t too edgy and therefore more timeless, but has anything changed on there as we approach 2017?

  25. October 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    I’ve got an update planned, for the most part the jeans are out, I now recommend levi’s dark denim and handm fitted t’s which I’ve got listed in the resource section. For minimalist style, dark denim, converse/red wing boots, and a fitted t are still the right move. As for edgy accessories, raybans for city style, flat brim hat for a hip hop vibe, for the rockstar look – bracelets and crucifixes can work. I’ve got a post on deck on edgy styles on the way my man as well.

    As for dress, tailored zara suits are still the best suits on a budget.

  26. J
    December 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    What ages do you see this wardrobe for? For mid-30s, I’m not quite sure the chucks still work. But then again, if I really knew what worked, I wouldn’t be here. What do you think for men 30+?

    Also, I know you say people should disregard what doesn’t work, but you were specific in color, type and brand for a reason. So I’m just wondering which details matter . With enough deviation from your recommendation, someone will eventually not be well dressed. You could be like “orange button down shirt? That’s cool. Not a Tommy Hilfiger? Prepare for a life of celibacy.”

  27. December 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    18 – 35, I’m 34 and still wear chucks, although you can phase them out if you feel its kid stuff.

    The brand doesn’t matter so much as the style and the colors, any decent white button down will do, I just pulled the hilfiger because they’re cheap and you can find a ton of them easily at the outlet mall.

    Also the post is a bit dated, I’ve updated the t shirt recommendations and jeans, you can see them in the resources section. Will be doing an update sometime soon.

  28. J
    April 2, 2017 at 2:23 am

    What do you recommend for jackets in the Spring/Fall, when the wool top coat would be too warm, but it’s too cool out for nothing?

  29. April 5, 2017 at 10:32 am

    I’ve got a nice motorcycle jacket from zara, not 80s style, but nice and tight with the button on the neck.

  30. Mike
    August 27, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hey Will, as far as suit versatility is concerned do you recommend a black suit over charcoal gray? Thanks for all you do, you’ve been a huge support in my development.

  31. September 6, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Thank you Mike, I prefer a black suit, especially if it’s not for work, because you can use for funerals and weddings too

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